Conducting market research equips a company with the information required to make informed corporate decisions including start-up, growth, and innovation among others. Market research primarily aids in understanding the target market, increasing sales, as well as business expansion. It is one of the simplest techniques that help to understand consumer needs and whether the company’s products are meeting those requirements. Research helps to understand who is buying your product or service, who is not buying your product or service, what motivates them, and whether they are loyal to your brand – ultimately leading to increased sales over a period of time.
Market research is divided into two phases including primary research and secondary research. Primary research includes securing data directly from the source. Various methods of conducting primary research include CAPI/ CATI, face-to-face surveys, online surveys, Focus Groups, Mystery Shopping etc. among others. Analyzing these surveys, finding out various techniques employed by competitors, and understanding what customers are looking for at any given point in time are all forms of primary market research. Secondary market research comprises analyzing historical data that has been published by other sources including social media statistics and government data among others.
Market research can considerably help marketing strategy as it aids in providing key insights and information to the business. It can provide a deeper understanding of customers and competitors. Understanding and analyzing competitor data is an important facet of research. This should be treated as an ongoing activity – where a company should always be learning about its business environment, customers, and their needs and preferences. Understanding the wider market environment can help identify new opportunities for a business. As the market constantly changes it is imperative to continue to research and understand ways that can improve product offerings based on the changing consumer preferences as well as market dynamics.